Wednesday, July 13, 2016

All The Noise

Often, when I am home and the two year-old is napping, the house will seem awfully quiet. So, I flip the television on and choose between HGTV and The Food Network to serve as background noise while I fold the clothes, unload the dishwasher and sweep the hardwoods.

Facebook, Instagram and various other apps, become my entertainment as a sit in car circle waiting on the teen to emerge from the middle school or the middle child to be-bop down the stairs outside her elementary school.

Even before my feet hit the floor in the morning, I have thumbed through the headlines on my phone from both Fox News and the local NBC affiliate, just so I will know what is going on the world.

The headlines from around the globe assail me. The pictures and video clips of friends and strangers beg for my approval. Advertisers compete for even 15 seconds of my attention.

Lately, as I was putting gas into the minivan the familiar voices of a couple of celebrities greeted me from the pump. The pharmacy line in my local WalMart has a similar screen with rolling ads of new products and sale specials.

Most of the time any more, noise can't be avoided and its assault bombards me from all directions. But I am no longer offended by noise. I have slowly and very surely become so immune to its negativity, it is the stillness and quiet I long to avoid.

With advances in technology and the ever-present hum of the media, silence has become almost deafening when I can manage to find it. It can be overwhelming and even oppressive to me when I am accustomed to something always being on.


Because the quiet is where God most often speaks to me and in my sinfulness, I long to hide from Him just as Adam and Eve attempted.

It is in the stillness His small voice speaks truth and the Holy Spirit moves. I am confronted with my sins of both commission and omission.

The silence is also where I find His peace and am reminded of His promises. The Holy Spirit speaks words of truth and of hope, but in my gradual acceptance of the noise of my modern life I didn't even realize I was missing the very thing I need to combat the messages and negativity of all that noise.

I know the noise is not sinful in itself, but it brings time and again to the precipice of temptation - jealousy, worry, envy, pride, judgement, hopelessness, self-righteousness.

God has not YET brought me to the place I deactivate my Facebook and Instagram accounts, but I have been most definitely convicted about the amount of media I take in - especially without much time to "be still and know" to counter it.

My prayer lately has been that I would crave the quiet and intentionally seek out stillness, so I might hear from Him more clearly and to find the rest I need in His presence.

I decided to write about the noise to try to shout above it in some small way. Have you become so tolerant of the all the noise that you don't even hear it anymore? Are you aware of how it is affecting you? What it is costing you?

How do you fight back against all the noise?


Hayley Nichols said...

Always enjoy reading the posts here. This one hit home and has really been on my mind lately. Thanks for being obedient in what He leads you to share.

Tara said...

Thank you Hayley! You really know me, so you know that I'm trying to be transparent....